MORE than 1,300 people in Birmingham and Solihull living with autism are being supported by the education and training charity Landau, as new figures are revealed.
The organisation has also awarded nearly £500,000 in grants to charitable organisations in the region to help improve services which support the health and well-being of autistic people, their families and carers.
The Midlands-based charity’s All Age Autism Support Service (AAASS) revealed the figures as it issued a rallying call for health, education and community groups to take advantage of the free support on offer.
Sonia Roberts MBE, Landau CEO, said although the first year of the AAASS project had been hugely successful, there were still people living with autism or awaiting diagnosis in Birmingham and Solihull who were unaware of the help available.
“As well as the grant support, we operate a service directory providing a single point of access to current support services in Birmingham and Solihull at www.aaadirectory.co.uk.
“We also have an online referral process for use by professionals and self-referrals which provides access to free support services through AAASS grant-funded projects.
“What we’d like to see happen now is more people being referred to those projects, particularly in the Solihull area, where we think people may be falling through the gaps. When there are more than 16,000 people in the region diagnosed with autism, we know want to reach as many people as possible.”
Sonia, who was awarded an MBE for services getting people into training and work in the King’s Birthday Honours, added:
“We are already working with schools, colleges, community groups, mental health providers, GPs and hospitals to make sure people know what support is out there.
“But we know there will be organisations and individuals who would benefit but are not currently being referred either to the grant-funded projects or signposted to the service directory.
“We want to change this and help even more autistic people to feel supported and improve their health and well-being.
“To date, 22 organisations have been awarded AAASS grants, enhancing the current local offer to support autistic people, their families and carers in their community with new services.
“These projects cover areas identified as priorities such as sleep support, social and emotional support, after-school clubs, employability and parent support.”
The All-Age Autism Support Service is being led by Landau with funding provided by National Health Service England & NHS Improvement (NHSEI) in partnership with the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.
Organisations that run autism services in Birmingham or Solihull that are interested in finding out more about the scheme or applying for grant funding can visit: www.allageautism.co.uk.
Landau, which operates across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its work in Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility in 2021.